The use of deadly force by Smithfield police officers who killed a Maryland man during an August confrontation was legally justified, the Johnston County District Attorney said Friday.
District Attorney Susan Doyle said she reviewed the State Bureau of Investigation report into the shooting and concluded that the officers’ actions were warranted because the suspect, Darryl Wiggins, repeatedly pointed a gun and threated their lives and the safety of witnesses.
No criminal charges will be filed against officers Adam Barret Jones and Ireneusz Lars Wilson, she said.
The scene unfolded about 9:30 p.m. Aug. 12 at a home in the 200 block of North Street. Officers arrived to find a drunken, armed Wiggins along with his cousin Maurice Wiggins, the homeowner, arguing loudly.
Maurice Wiggins, who was bleeding and needed medical attention, told authorities he had spent the day drinking and “catching up” with his cousin. According to Doyle’s report, the two hadn’t seen each other in more than 20 years because Darryl Wiggins had been in prison most of that time, according to the report.
Maurice Wiggins told officers that Darryl became angry, fired a shot in the air, then held the gun to Maurice’s head and pulled the trigger. The gun misfired, the two began to struggle and family members called 911 after Maurice was momentarily knocked unconscious.
Officers tried numerous times to calm down the suspect and negotiate with him, but they said Darryl Wiggins remained uncooperative and shouted obscenities.
At one point, the officers heard him rack his gun and yell, “You want to do it? Let’s (expletive) do it. You got your whip. I got my whip. Let’s do this.”
Wiggins pointed his gun several times at the officers and witnesses, eventually squaring up in a “shooting stance with both arms extended," the report stated.
An autopsy determined Wiggins died from gunshot wounds to the abdomen, and the recovered bullets came from the guns of Wilson and Jones. Wiggins' blood alcohol content was .16.
Doyle said witnesses corroborated the officers' accounts of what happened, and Maruice Wiggins told investigators that “the police did what they had to do.”